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Director

Jason Litzenberg

Jason Litzenberg

  • Director of the Intensive English Communication Program
  • Associate Teaching Professor of Applied Linguistics
(814) 865-5711

Administration

Jackie Gianico

Jackie Gianico

  • Associate Teaching Professor of Applied Linguistics
  • Associate Director of Academics
More about Jackie Gianico...

Jackie Gianico has been teaching since 2006 and joined the IECP faculty in 2012 after having previously worked for the program as a teaching assistant. She has been IECP Academic Coordinator since 2013. Originally from New York, Jackie earned an M.A. in Italian from Middlebury College and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics from Teachers College, Columbia University. In addition to having taught at the intensive English programs of New York University and Columbia University prior to moving to State College, Jackie has also worked as a product developer and editor for Kaplan’s English Programs in New York City. She is interested in exploring and improving teacher practices with her involvement in the Center for Research on English Language Learning and Teaching (CRELLT) here in the Department of Applied Linguistics. Jackie’s main interests in language learning and teaching include hypothetical discourse in the classroom, teacher practices, and program team-building and professional development.  Outside of the IECP, Jackie enjoys acting, singing, and painting, and she often brings her experience with theatre and art into the classroom.

Recent research activity:

  • Gianico, J.M. (2016, April). Pushing the boundaries of oral placement exams: assessing interactional competence. Presentation at the annual meeting of TESOL, Baltimore, MD.
  • Gianico, J.M. (2015, November). In vivo and online activities: aural explorations not oral presentations. Paper presented at the annual meeting of NYS TESOL, White Plains, NY.
  • Gianico, J.M. & Jadlocki, M. (2014, March). Real and hypothetical voicing as displays of interactional competence in a lesson on informal register in a post-secondary ESL class. American Association of Applied Linguistics American Association of Applied Linguistics, Annual Conference; Portland, OR.
  • Gianico, J.M. & Jadlocki, M. (2012, March). Instructors’ hypothetical discourse and gesture as models of potential thought and talk. American Associaiton of Applied Linguistics, Annual Conference; Boston, MA.
  • Gianico, J.M. (2011, October). Complaining and coming clean: Voicing and interactional positioning in a staff meeting of a university mental health clinic. Language and Social Interaction, First Annual Conference; Teachers College, Columbia Univeristy, New York, NY.
  • Gianico, J.M. (2011, March). Hypothetical quotation and gesture in the demonstration of teacher talk and thought by an ITA. American Associaiton of Applied Linguistics, Annual Conference; Chicago, IL.
Tom Spencer

Tom Spencer

  • Assistant Teaching Professor / Associate Director of Student Affairs and Special Programs
More about Tom Spencer...

Tom Spencer joined the IECP in 2013 having begun his career in TEFL/TESL overseas in 2001, teaching young adults, members of parliament, and starting the EFL program for Johnson & Johnson Prague, Czech Republic. He graduated from Penn State’s M.A. TESL program in 2010 earning the “Student of the Year” award. Tom’s doctoral dissertation in Adult Education is a multi-site quantitative analysis of the possible relationships between studying at an on-campus Intensive English Program, and subsequent adjustment to American universities. His research and professional interests include program evaluation and improvement, campus-climate research for international students, teacher development, international student adjustment to universities, and more broadly, research methodologies in EFL contexts. 

Recent research activity:

  • Prins, E., Carrera, M., Drayton, B., Gungor, R., Miller, F., & Spencer, T. (2011). Women’s involvement in adult education and family literacy: Consequences for social networks, social support, and mental health. In S. Carpenter, S. Dossa, & B.J. Osborne (Eds.), Proceedings of the 52nd National Conference of the Adult Education Research Conference (AERX) and the 30th National Conference of the Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education (CASAE) (pp. 543-549). Toronto: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education

Faculty

Julie George

Julie George

  • Assistant Teaching Professor of Applied Linguistics
More about Julie George...

Julie George has been teaching since 1999 and joined the Intensive English Communication Program in the fall of 2014.  Originally from Denver, CO, following the awarding of her M.A. in TESOL from Bowling Green State University, Julie worked and resided in Bowling Green, OH, just south of Toledo for sixteen years.  She was the Acting Director and Assistant Director of BGSU’s ESOL Program and also taught ITA and graduate/undergraduate writing and oral communication classes in its program. In addition, Julie co-founded a local non-profit community organization committed to providing various services to the International community in BG, which includes international students, faculty, migrant farm workers, business people, and immigrants.  She was the Executive Director of this non-profit for ten years while overseeing and teaching in its Community English Class and occasionally teaching adjunct for BGSU’s IEP and ESOL Program.  Her research interests have included helping students communicate openness to classroom diversity, spelling, pronunciation, the socio-cultural adjustment of new international students to a community, the cultural concepts of friendship, the motivation behind community volunteering, the assessment of ITAs, curriculum development for ITA training, and collaborating with faculty to create beneficial training for their ITAs.  In her free time, Julie enjoys reading, writing, running and working out, exploring new places, and watching college basketball, particularly women’s.

Recent research activity

  • George, J. (November 2015). Beyond traditional fluency: helping students communicate openness to diversity. Published proceedings of MexTESOL, Cancun, Mexico.
  • George, J. (November 2015). Beyond traditional fluency: helping students communicate openness to diversity. Conference presentation at MexTESOL, Cancun, Mexico.
  • George, J. & M. Naber-Fisher (March 2014).  Communidad: building relationships with migrant workers.  Conference presentation at Ohio State of the State at Bowling Green State University.
  • George, J. (March 2011). Effect of a local non-profit on the socio-cultural adjustment of new international students. Talking about learning: the language center bulletin, 29-30. South East European University.
Jackie Gianico

Jackie Gianico

  • Associate Teaching Professor of Applied Linguistics
  • Associate Director of Academics
More about Jackie Gianico...

Jackie Gianico has been teaching since 2006 and joined the IECP faculty in 2012 after having previously worked for the program as a teaching assistant. She has been IECP Academic Coordinator since 2013. Originally from New York, Jackie earned an M.A. in Italian from Middlebury College and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics from Teachers College, Columbia University. In addition to having taught at the intensive English programs of New York University and Columbia University prior to moving to State College, Jackie has also worked as a product developer and editor for Kaplan’s English Programs in New York City. She is interested in exploring and improving teacher practices with her involvement in the Center for Research on English Language Learning and Teaching (CRELLT) here in the Department of Applied Linguistics. Jackie’s main interests in language learning and teaching include hypothetical discourse in the classroom, teacher practices, and program team-building and professional development.  Outside of the IECP, Jackie enjoys acting, singing, and painting, and she often brings her experience with theatre and art into the classroom.

Recent research activity:

  • Gianico, J.M. (2016, April). Pushing the boundaries of oral placement exams: assessing interactional competence. Presentation at the annual meeting of TESOL, Baltimore, MD.
  • Gianico, J.M. (2015, November). In vivo and online activities: aural explorations not oral presentations. Paper presented at the annual meeting of NYS TESOL, White Plains, NY.
  • Gianico, J.M. & Jadlocki, M. (2014, March). Real and hypothetical voicing as displays of interactional competence in a lesson on informal register in a post-secondary ESL class. American Association of Applied Linguistics American Association of Applied Linguistics, Annual Conference; Portland, OR.
  • Gianico, J.M. & Jadlocki, M. (2012, March). Instructors’ hypothetical discourse and gesture as models of potential thought and talk. American Associaiton of Applied Linguistics, Annual Conference; Boston, MA.
  • Gianico, J.M. (2011, October). Complaining and coming clean: Voicing and interactional positioning in a staff meeting of a university mental health clinic. Language and Social Interaction, First Annual Conference; Teachers College, Columbia Univeristy, New York, NY.
  • Gianico, J.M. (2011, March). Hypothetical quotation and gesture in the demonstration of teacher talk and thought by an ITA. American Associaiton of Applied Linguistics, Annual Conference; Chicago, IL.
Jason Litzenberg

Jason Litzenberg

  • Director of the Intensive English Communication Program
  • Associate Teaching Professor of Applied Linguistics
(814) 865-5711
Nikki Mattson

Nikki Mattson

  • Associate Teaching Professor of Applied Linguistics
More about Nikki Mattson...

Nikki Mattson began teaching ESL in 2007 and joined the IECP in 2009 after teaching English in France for a year. She earned her M.A. in Linguistics and a Certificate of Graduate Study in TESOL from the University of South Carolina. She also holds a DELF (diplôme d'études en langue française) from Université Marc Bloch, Strasbourg, France. Stemming from her interest in promoting student engagement, she has developed partnerships and projects to actively engage students in academic interactions in the classroom, on campus, and beyond.  Her research interests include intensive English program oral placement test validation, evaluating computer-assisted language learning (CALL) usage in second language (L2) classrooms, and investigating cross‐linguistic transfer of Arabic to English in L2 reading. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors, traveling, crafting, and spending time with her family and friends.

 

  • Mattson, N. (2018). Reporting on a University Class Observation: IEP Student-Created Videos. Presentation at the TESOL 2018 International Convention, Chicago, IL.

 

  • Kimura, D., Mattson, N. and Amory, M. (2017). A Conversation Analytic Approach to Oral Placement Test Validation: Attending to Vertical and Horizontal Comparisons. TESOL Journal. doi:10.1002/tesj.335

 

  • Mattson, N., Sudaholc, S. (2017). Interpreting Student Feedback About A CALL Program Through Activity Theory. Presentation at the TESOL 2017 International Convention, Seattle, WA.

 

  • Kimura, D., Mattson, N., & Amory, M. (2016). Improving Oral Proficiency Tests: A Conversation Analysis Approach. Presentation at the TESOL 2016 International Convention, Baltimore, MD.

 

  • Mattson, N., Lynch, M. (2014). Voice Thread: A Tool for Collaborative, Authentic, and Reflective Learning. Presentation at 2014 Three Rivers TESOL Fall Conference, Pittsburgh, PA.

 

  • Mattson, N., Sauder, R. P. (2013) Blogger.com: An Effective Tool for Classroom Management and Student Collaboration. Presentation at 2013 Three Rivers TESOL Fall Conference, Pittsburgh, PA.

 

  • Lowell, R., Mattson, N. & Morris, R. (2009). Effects of Lexical Processing on Eye Movements of Native Arab Speakers Reading English. Poster at the CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, Davis, CA.
Tom Spencer

Tom Spencer

  • Assistant Teaching Professor / Associate Director of Student Affairs and Special Programs
More about Tom Spencer...

Tom Spencer joined the IECP in 2013 having begun his career in TEFL/TESL overseas in 2001, teaching young adults, members of parliament, and starting the EFL program for Johnson & Johnson Prague, Czech Republic. He graduated from Penn State’s M.A. TESL program in 2010 earning the “Student of the Year” award. Tom’s doctoral dissertation in Adult Education is a multi-site quantitative analysis of the possible relationships between studying at an on-campus Intensive English Program, and subsequent adjustment to American universities. His research and professional interests include program evaluation and improvement, campus-climate research for international students, teacher development, international student adjustment to universities, and more broadly, research methodologies in EFL contexts. 

Recent research activity:

  • Prins, E., Carrera, M., Drayton, B., Gungor, R., Miller, F., & Spencer, T. (2011). Women’s involvement in adult education and family literacy: Consequences for social networks, social support, and mental health. In S. Carpenter, S. Dossa, & B.J. Osborne (Eds.), Proceedings of the 52nd National Conference of the Adult Education Research Conference (AERX) and the 30th National Conference of the Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education (CASAE) (pp. 543-549). Toronto: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education

Administrative Support

Judith Maloney

Judith Maloney

Robin Montarsi

Robin Montarsi

(814) 865-3017